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Elevated concentrations of homocysteine in children and adolescents with arterial hypertension accompanying Type 1 diabetes

Barbara Głowińska, Mirosława Urban, Jadwiga Peczyńska, Bożena Florys, Ewa Szydłowska

Med Sci Monit 2001; 7(6): CR1242-1249 :: ID: 508121


Background: Ischemic heart disease is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality among diabetics, especially those who became ill at a young age. In evaluating the risk of the development of atherosclerotic changes, especially when occurring prematurely, increasing attention is being paid to new, unconventional risk factors. One of many such new factors, and one whose role in the development of atherosclerotic changes currently seems to be beyond dispute, is homocysteine. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the concentration of homocysteine in children and youth with Type 1 diabetes, and to attempt to determine the dependence between homocysteine and the degree of metabolic control, the duration of the illness, the age at onset, the insulin dose, the appearance of complications, and a family history of ischemic heart disease.
Material and methods: Our research involved 103 children and youth (average age 13.3 years) with Type 1 diabetes, with an average duration of illness of 5.3 years. The control group consisted of 44 healthy, non-obese children. The concentration of homocysteine was measured using the AXIS homocystein EIA immunoenzymatic method with a set of reagents from the Bio Rad company.
Results: The average homocysteine concentration in the experimental group was 5.6 umol/L, which did not constitute a significant difference from the control group’s 6.1 umol/l. No statistically significant differences were discovered in the concentration of homocysteine depending on the degree of metabolic control, age at onset, method of insulinotherapy, or family history. A significant increase in the concentration of homocysteine was found in children who had been ill for a long time (more than 10 years): 6.1 umol/L, as against 5.1 umol/l in children who had been ill for a shorter period of time, and a significantly higher concentration of Hcy in children with diabetic complications (6.1 vs 5.3 umol/L) and in children with arterial hypertension.
Conclusions: The significant increase in the concentration of homocysteine in children with Type 1 diabetes and arterial hypertension indicates that this group is particularly exposed to early atherosclerotic changes, independently of metabolic control and the parameters of lipid metabolism, and requires the implementation of treatment aimed at reducing the blood concentration of homocysteine.

Keywords: diabetes, atherosclerosis, homocysteine, complications, arterial blood pressure, children

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750